Darren is a Civil engineer, studying at Canterbury Technical College. He obtained a Masters in Civil Engineering at University of Portsmith.
He’s 53 and enjoys Jet skiing and Fishing.
Based in Brisbane, Darren sees himself as an average engineer who likes to get involved in exciting stuff. He gets called into any projects that are in trouble to save the day – we see him as a Super-Engineer!
But for Darren: “To me engineering is a passion”
Remembers as a child driving through construction sites and always wanting to be an engineer. Was told he would never be an engineer by a career advisor.
At 16, started as a trainee draftsman which was good as it taught him the basics. He was working as he studied his engineering degree, and once got marked down in the construction methodology for a bridge he had built!
After working for 10 years in the industry, Darren’s first job after he graduated was for British Airways, preparing the earthworks and foundations for a new building.
Hot Topic discussion
Society is moving to being more risk-adverse which has lead Australian engineers to “…put themselves in a box around what they do and what they can’t do”
Engineers are losing their ability to cross-discipline themselves and their ability to think… once upon a time, you could challenge a standard
Quality Surveyors in Australia are much more restricted than a QS in the UK.
This level of risk aversion is making Australian engineers less innovative. They are controlled by the contract and are not encouraged to work outside the box.
STEM is driving people to be very rigid. The solution is to put an “A” in STEM. STEAM is required. This would encourage engineers to be innovative.
“The arts is that creative space. That’s where you can really think about it.”
Science Nobel Prize winners usually have a strong creative side.
The engineers with a strong creative side, who are able to creatively bring different ideas together, are what’s ultimately needed.
During this podcast, you will also reflect on:
Standout job was working on the English Channel tunnel crossing. Didn’t realise at the time how significant, “it was just my job”.
Having a manager that trusts you will be a huge career help.
Working with archaeological procedures, and a legacy of upgrades, was an interesting experience while working on the Newcastle 500 race course.
Once upon a time, you could challenge a standard.
The future of engineering – it’s in trouble. “I think it’s going to get more regulated…. more standardised.”
For people just starting out in engineering, Darren advises you to trust your instinct, it’s usually always right. Always put your hand up and be the first in the queue for a project – projects aren’t always where you live. Be prepared to move with your job, it’s a very mobile career. As early as you can, gain as much variety of experience as you can. Take calculated risks.
An engineering item for discussion. Loves railway engines. The history of steam power fascinates Darren. It’s probably in his blood – his grandfather drove the trains and he was born in a town that built trains.
An engineer to admire. Darren has 3 engineers.
Robert Stephenson, was a civil engineer and pivotal in early English railway.
Peter South – “guiding light on the channel tunnel”…“He trusted me a lot at a very young age”. “He gave me the confidence to pursue from a design detailer to an engineer”
John Pye – to him, it was about the ultimate solution, not the budget constraints because he could see the value long term. John gave him the confidence to be the engineer he is today.